27 June 2017
NISSAN GT-R TOP FIVE PAUL RICARD RESULT FOR MOTUL TEAM RJN
 

Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France: The Nissan GT-R has scored a top five finish at Circuit Paul Ricard for the second consecutive year with Lucas Ordóñez, Alex Buncombe and Katsumasa Chiyo leading the charge for Motul Team RJN.

The teams of the Blancpain GT Championship Endurance Cup were treated to blistering heat all weekend in the south of France.

The team even installed a temporary "pool" in the paddock for the drivers to cool off between stints.


While both Nissan GT-Rs were disappointed after qualifying, the No. 23 entry of factory aces Ordóñez/Buncombe/Chiyo and the No. 22 car of Matt Simmons, Matt Parry and Struan Moore impressed in the race.

The No. 22 machine qualified 25th and actually fell back early before beginning its march forward. The No. 23 machine kicked off from 32nd on the grid and stayed well in contention in the top ten by nightfall.

Simmons, Parry and Moore just missed out on a top 10 finish by crossing the line in 11th place. Former Nissan GT Academy winner Simmons completing the most impressive weekend yet of his Blancpain GT career.

The No. 23 Nissan GT-R NISMO was in a fierce late race podium battle before finishing fifth - the same result the team scored in 2016.

"We're really happy with the result," Ordóñez said.

"After starting 32nd we really didn't think we'd be near the podium but to end up fighting hard in fifth is a fantastic result. It is our first points of the year and this was great preparation for the Spa-Francorchamps 24 hours which is the big race of the season.

"Our pace was fantastic and I had great fun in both my stints - one during the day and one at night. We lost a little bit of time during one of the stops but the entire team did an amazing job.

"The Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 was fast throughout the whole race and it is brilliant to finish with a top five."

 
15 May 2017
MOTUL TEAM RJN SHOW SPEED BUT LACK FORTUNE AT SILVERSTONE
 

Silverstone, UK: Motul Team RJN were left wondering "what if" after a frustrating day on home soil at Silverstone in the latest round of the Blancpain GT Championship Endurance Cup.

The team ended the day with a 16th place finish for the No.23 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 piloted by NISMO factory aces Alex Buncome, Lucas Ordóñez and Katsumasa Chiyo.

The No.22 entry of Matt Parry, Struan Moore and Matt Simmons finished 24th.


In qualifying Lucas Ordóñez kicked off the first segment by going fastest of all in the 55 car field for the second race in a row. Alex Buncombe's run on a second set of tyres looked set to put the No.23 machine into the top six when he was 6/10ths of a second up after the first two sectors, only for a red flag to cruelly force the Brit to abandon the lap.

Ordóñez (starting P22) and Struan Moore (P14) started the race and both made strong progress forward. Both Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s had stints inside the top ten only to be pushed back due to unfortunate timings of safety cars - hitting the No.22 entry particularly hard.

A late race drive-through penalty ruined the chance of a top ten result for No.23 after Katsumasa Chiyo was judged to have exceeded the maximum driving time by a mere 14 seconds.

"When I was in clear air I could get down into the two minute, two second pace which seemed like a pretty good race pace," Buncombe said.

"Unfortunately half way in my stint I got told I had to do a drive through penalty because Chiyo was slightly over in his driver time.

"What I'd gained in my stint, I had to lose by touring the pit lane which is a shame. We ended up P16 so this was not our weekend here but I'm really looking forward to the next one at Paul Ricard."

 
17 February 2017
NISSAN AND NISMO ANNOUNCE GLOBAL MOTORSPORT PROGRAM FOR 2017
 

  • Nissan and NISMO aim to retake SUPER GT title with new 2017 spec. Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500
  • Nissan and NISMO to strengthen Customer Racing programs with the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, racing engines for Daytona Prototype International (DPi), LMP1 (privateers), and LMP3.
  • To greatly enhance its competitiveness NISMO to begin development on a newly evolved Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 (R35)



February 17, Yokohama, Japan – The 2017 motorsport season is about to start and on behalf of Nissan, Takao Katagiri, CEO and President of NISMO has now officially announced Nissan/NISMO’s motorsport activities for 2017. These are as follows:

SUPER GT - GT500

With sights firmly set on reclaiming the GT500 championship title, Nissan/NISMO will field four newly developed Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 entries in 2017.

Having won the SUPER GT GT500 Championship two years in a row in 2014 and 2015, but missing out on a third consecutive title after leading the championship until the last event in 2016, NISMO will be back at the track with the driver pairing of Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli in Nissan’s ace car #23.

Fresh from the GT300 class, GT Academy graduate Jann Mardenborough will step up to GT500, making his GT500 debut with TEAM IMPUL together with teammate Hironobu Yasuda. For the first time in 7 years João Paulo de Oliveira will return to KONDO Racing, which took two victories last year, and will team up with Daiki Sasaki. MOLA will continue with the same strong driver combination from last year, with veteran Satoshi Motoyama challenging the series alongside young gun Katsumasa Chiyo.

Toshikazu Tanaka, Corporate Vice President of NISMO remains as Nissan’s team executive director. The complete roster:

#23 - NISMO - Tsugio Matsuda / Ronnie Quintarelli
Team Principal: Yutaka Suzuki
MOTUL AUTECH GT-R / Michelin

#12 - TEAM IMPUL - Hironobu Yasuda / Jann Mardenborough
Team Principal: Kazuyoshi Hoshino
Calsonic IMPUL GT-R / Bridgestone

#24 - KONDO Racing - Daiki Sasaki / João Paulo de Oliveira
Team Principal: Masahiko Kondo
Forum Engineering ADVAN GT-R / Yokohama

#46 - MOLA - Satoshi Motoyama / Katsumasa Chiyo
Team Principal: Toshiomi Oeki
S Road CRAFTSPORTS GT-R / Michelin

Nissan’s new GT500 racer, which incorporates the distinctive design of the standard 2017 Nissan GT-R NISMO, was developed in compliance with the 2017 SUPER GT technical regulations and inherits the competitive and hard-charging spirit of previous incarnations of the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500.

Officially revealed last November, the car has undergone testing in Japan as well as in Sepang, Malaysia. The updates will be made just before the opening round and are expected to result in an even stronger, more competitive GT-R that will build upon the previous championship winning car’s legacy of dominance within the history of motorsports.


CUSTOMER RACING PROGRAMS

Nissan/NISMO will be expanding its Customer Racing program, supplying race cars and engines to teams around the globe.

1) CUSTOMER RACING - GT3 PROGRAM

The Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 debuted in 2012 and since then 33 cars have been sold to compete in Japan, Europe, USA, Australia, and China, 20 of which participated in global GT3 race series in 2016.

The car took numerous victories world-wide and in the Super Taikyu Series, the GT3 GT-R was crowned ST-X class champion. In 2017, NISMO will continue to support Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 customers by providing vehicles and technical assistance.

While providing technical support to all the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 users in SUPER GT, Super Taikyu, and other championships, Nissan/NISMO will support the teams in the following series:

BLANCPAIN GT SERIES ENDURANCE CUP

Nissan/NISMO will continue to support the Bob Neville managed Team RJN NISSAN in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup (Pro Class). The driver lineup once again utilizes drivers from Nissan’s global motorsport family.

The 2015 championship winning pair of Katsumasa Chiyo and Alex Buncombe will team up with GT Academy’s inaugural winner in 2008, Lucas Ordoñez.

# 23 Team RJN NISSAN - Katsumasa Chiyo / Alex Buncombe / Lucas Ordoñez
Team Principal: Bob Neville
Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 / Pirelli

SUPER GT GT300

NDDP RACING, which focuses on the development of young drivers, will enter the SUPER GT GT300 class with Mitsunori Takaboshi alongside Kazuki Hoshino as his mentor. The operation continues to be managed by B-MAX.

#3 - NDDP RACING - Kazuki Hoshino / Mitsunori Takaboshi Team Principal: Masahiro Hasemi
B-MAX NDDP GT-R / Yokohama

SUPER TAIKYU SERIES ST-X

KONDO Racing, which took the 2016 series championship with its ThreeBond Nissan Technical College GT-R, will be aiming for two consecutive titles in the ST-X class this year. Tomonobu Fujii has been named as one of the drivers.

This collaboration between KONDO Racing and the Nissan Automobile Technical College is a unique program that combines education with motorsports.

ST-X – #1 – KONDO Racing - Tomonobu Fujii / TBA
Team Principal: Masahiko Kondo
ThreeBond Nissan Technical College GT-R

DEVELOPEMT OF NEWLY EVOLVED NISSAN GT-R NISMO GT3(R35)

Nissan/NISMO will be developing a newly evolved Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 (R35), with an eye towards 2018, in order to greatly enhance its competitiveness in the increasingly fierce GT3 market.

Masataka Yanagida and Michael Krumm will serve as development drivers and development will be undertaken while carrying out tests in both Japan and Europe.

 
30 January 2017
BATHURST 12 HOUR CONTINUES NISMO'S 60 HOURS OF ENDURANCE
 

Bathurst, NSW, Australia: This week's Bathurst 12 Hour at Mount Panorama continues NISMO's 60 hours of endurance racing which kicks off the 2017 racing season.

After contesting the Dubai 24 with an all-GT Academy alumni line-up and supporting engine customer ESM's return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Nissan will now enter the Australian endurance battle this weekend with two factory Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 entries.


After making its debut in the race three years ago, Nissan stormed to victory in 2015 with Katsumasa Chiyo passing two cars on the final restart to claim the win.

Last year the Japanese ace was again on a late race charge – including pulling off a "pass on the grass" on Mountain Straight – but just came up short in second place.

Chiyo will team up with fellow NISMO athlete Alex Buncombe and Australian Supercars ace Michael Caruso aboard the No.23 GT-R.

The second No.24 GT-R will feature former GT Academy winners Jann Mardenborough and Florian Strauss teamed with Australian Supercars ace and former Bathurst 1000 winner, Todd Kelly. The trio's GT-R will feature a new Nissan Genuine Oil line-up livery for Bathurst.

Mardenborough starred in Super GT in Japan last year in the GT300 class and will be entering his second enduro for the year after heading the Dubai line-up.

Strauss was part of the winning line-up in 2015 and also joined Chiyo on the podium here last year.

"I'm really looking forward to having a crack at the Bathurst 12 Hour again this year with my Australian family, Team Kelly and Team RJN," Chiyo said.


"I have strong teammates. It's like a dream team. I'm always excited when I hear about the Bathurst 12 Hour. It is such an amazing track, awesome fans with amazing history.

"In 2015, we achieved winning the race after a dramatic finish. Last year, we tried to defend the title, but we were beaten by the McLaren. This year, I think our mission is simple – win back the trophy for the Nissan GT-R."

In addition to the two factory entries, Wall Racing will enter two Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s in the GT3 Am class featuring Daniel Bilski, Adrian Flack and Chris Pithe in the No.38 entry. The second car will be headlined by Always Evolving US Nissan Pirelli World Challenge team boss Eric Davis with Brett Hodges and Fred Poordad aboard the No.66.

The entire 12 Hours of Bathurst will be streamed live on NISMO TV on YouTube. Saturday's Top Ten shoot-out will also feature on the live streaming schedule.

 
19 September 2016
PODIUM PERFORMANCE FOR GT-R IN NUBURGRING BLANCPAIN
 

Nurburgring, Germany: Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 aces Lucas Ordóñez, Mitsunori Takaboshi and Alex Buncombe stormed to a podium finish with third place in the final round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup at the Nurburgring yesterday.

Qualifying was delayed and later shortened to just a single driver session thanks to fog at the Nurburgring and Alex Buncombe pulled out a strong lap put the NIssan GT-R NISMO GT3 11th on the grid.


Lucas Ordóñez made a storming start to go around the outside at the first corner to slot into sixth place. He continued to make progress to eventually hand over the car to Mitsunori Takaboshi in third place.

The Japanese ace continued the strong pace throughout his stint before handing over to Alex Buncombe.

After finishing third here last year in the same event, Buncombe began to reel in the two race leaders in the closing laps to be only 1.9 seconds off the race winner at the checkered flag.

The podium finish was the first in European competition for Takaboshi and the first for Nissan this year in the Blancpain Series - beating the fourth place finish at Monza and fifth at Circuit Paul Ricard.


"We had to save our brakes during our stints because the Grand Prix Course of Nurburgring was hard for brake, but all three drivers were fast and the team did fantastic jobs at pit stops," Takaboshi said.

"I am really happy to get on the podium! I am not 100% satisfied as there are higher places to go, but third place is very valuable that was earned by the whole team."

The No.22 GT-R of Sean Walkinshaw and GT Academy aces Matt Simmons and Romain Sarazin were disappointed after qualifying when a red flag ruined Walkinshaw's "hot" lap – pushing the team back to 41st on the grid.

The trio were strong in the race however, moving up ten positions to eventually finish 31st.

Next up for the Nisasn GT Academy Team RJN squad will be the final sprint round of the season in Barcelona on October 1-2.

 
16 May 2016
FIGHTING FINISH IN PRO-AM AFTER DRAMA FOR PRO CAR

Brands Hatch, England – Nissan collected its first Pro-Am points of the season at Silverstone in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup in a bittersweet day for Nissan yesterday.

Sean Walkinshaw combined with GT Academy winners Matt Simmons (Australia) and Romain Sarazin (France) to finish seventh in the Pro-Am class aboard the No.22 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.


British ace Walkinshaw climbed aboard the No.22 machine for the final stint and moved from 14th in class up to as high as sixth before crossing the line in seventh place.

“We went from 14th to seventh, which wasn’t bad at all, and it’s just a shame I couldn’t keep hold of sixth at the end over the last couple of laps – the tyres had just gone," Walkinshaw said.

“I had to defend but tried to make sure I wasn’t losing time in amongst the backmarkers, I’m a bit annoyed as I could have held on if it wasn’t for a little mistake on the second to last lap.

"It’s great to have our first points though, we’re on the board now and hopefully Paul Ricard next month will be good. It’s going to be a six-hour race so, even better, as it means twice as long in the car!”

Sadly for the No.23 machine, opening lap contact for Alex Buncombe took the team's Pro entry out of contention and into a forced retirement - leaving both Mitsunori Takaboshi and Lucas Ordóñez without any race laps.


"The first three quarters of the opening lap was awesome," Buncombe said.

"I passed about six cars in the first few corners but unfortunately got squeezed by a couple of cars that I was trying to get out of the way of.

"Then I got speared by a Lamborghini and it destroyed the front left corner of the car. I managed to get it back to the pits. The boys got it fixed and I got back out there and I was able to set some really fast times as good as the lead group.

"Our pace was really good but we need to work on maintaining that pace when the tyres start to drop away.

"I handed over to Mitsunori and when he went to go the car wouldn't start. We changed the starter but we were so far down the order it was best to save the tyre allocation for the next Blancpain race at Paul Ricard."

Nissan GT Academy Team RJN will now set its sights on the Nurburgring 24 Hour on May 28-29 where Buncombe and Ordóñez will be joined by Kazuki Hoshino and MIchael Krumm.

 
09 May 2016
BUNCOMBE TARGETS SILVERSTONE PACE AFTER BRANDS HATCH BATTLE

Brands Hatch, England – Nissan GT Academy Team RJN may not have been outright contenders at Brands Hatch this weekend in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup but the team enters next weekend's Endurance Cup round at Silverstone in a confident frame of mind.

Neither Alex Buncombe or Sean Walkinshaw were able to get a clear lap in the second qualifying session, pushing the two Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 machines back to 33rd and 34th on the grid.


The two races on Sunday were a different matter however. Mitsunori Takaboshi and Alex Buncombe gained 12 spots in the qualifying race to finish 21st while Sean Walkinshaw and GT Academy winner Ricardo Sanchez finished 31st.

More progress was made in the main race with the No.23 GT-R running as high as 15th before finishing 18th and the No.22 machine crossing the line in 22 - making up nine positions and finishing third in the Silver Cup.

"I was pretty pleased with the main race, the car felt really nice," Buncombe said.

"The guys made some changes on the car which made a big difference and we found about a second a lap in the main race. The goal was the top 20 and we just got there in the end.

"It was a shame because we were 15th and the safety car came out at the wrong time. The handy gap I had at the time disappeared with the safety car. When we went back to green I struggled for grip and got passed by a few cars."


Japanese driver Mitsunori Takaboshi continued to impress in his first season of European competition.

"I was hoping we could repeat the great performance we showed in the Endurance Cup, but it turned out to be two tough races for the GT-Rs in the Sprint Cup," Takaboshi said.

"It is frustrating that the result is not what we expected and we didn't collect any points, but we found good car setup for the next races so I am feeling really positive."

Buncombe qualified on pole at Silverstone last year and the No.23 GT-R led the opening stint of the race before suffering contact with a back-marker just before the first pit stop which subsequently pushed them out of contention for the win.

The team's No.22 Pro-Am entry finished on the podium in second place.

"Overall I'm happy with the car after Brands Hatch and looking forward to next weekend at Silverstone," Buncombe said.

"That is our track - always has been - I'm hopeful it will be again next weekend."

 
29 June 2015
NISSAN CELEBRATES GLORIOUS GOODWOOD AS THE WINNING STREAK CONTINUES

  • Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, Nissan Juke-R 2.0 and Ginetta-Nissan LM P3 star at Goodwood Festival of Speed
  • Alex Buncombe fastest in class on the Goodwood hillclimb
  • #33 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 wins in Pirelli World Challenge at Road America
  • Lucas Ordonez races to double podium in Japanese F3

LONDON, UK – 29 June 2015: Nissan returned from another successful Goodwood Festival of Speed last night to hear the news that James Davison’s #33 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 had won the Pirelli World Challenge race at Road America. Added to the news that Lucas Ordonez had taken a double podium in Japanese F3 at Okayama in Japan it was another good weekend for Nissan Motorsport.


Alex Buncombe (GB) took the wheel of the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 at Goodwood, the recent winner of the Blancpain Endurance Series race at Paul Ricard tasked with retaining Nissan’s honour on the world-famous Goodwood hillclimb. With each run he improved, hustling the GT-R up the narrow hill, before grabbing first place in the Modern Endurance class, with a time that put him eighth overall, only beaten by F1 cars and Pikes Peak & time attack specials.

CLICK HERE to see Alex Buncombe in action on the hillclimb


In the Supercar class, Jann Mardenborough sped up the hill in the brand new Nissan Juke-R 2.0, logging times that eclipsed cars from Ferrari, Porsche, Pagani and Lamborghini. The GT Academy winner is no stranger to Goodwood after topping the timesheets in the Nissan GT-R Time Attack car last year and he took great delight in showing off the finer points of the newly-unleashed Juke-R 2.0. CLICK HERE to see Jann Mardenborough in the Nissan Juke-R 2.0


Sir Chris Hoy made his return to Goodwood, determined to put last year’s encounter with the hay bales at Molecomb Corner behind him. He had many great runs in the Ginetta-Nissan LMP3 car throughout the event and was very happy to be the first person to “take an LMP3 car up Lord March’s driveway!”

CLICK HERE to see Sir Chris Hoy at the Festival of Speed

NISSAN GT-R NISMO GT3 WINS IN PIRELLI WORLD CHALLENGE


James Davison took the #33 Always Evolving Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 to an overall World Challenge win on Sunday at Road America, Wisconsin. This was his second win of the season and in addition to his second place on Saturday’s race.

Bryan Heitkotter, who won GT Academy USA in 2011, continued to collect World Challenge podiums and now sits fourth in the GTA standings.

ORDONEZ TAKES TWO PODIUMS AT OKAYAMA


The first GT academy winner, Lucas Ordonez, continued his Japanese Formula 3 campaign at Okayama in Japan last weekend. The Spaniard took two strong fourth places in qualifying and turned both into podium finishes in rounds 10 and 11 of the Japanese series.

“Qualifying was very tight but I am getting closer and closer to the top guys,” said Ordonez. “In race one I took third going into the first corner and managed to maintain good pace as I chased the leaders. Race two had a lot of action in the first two corners and I lost a position but I soon took it back again. I was fourth when the safety car came out and at the restart I managed to make a move on (Nick) Cassidy to take third as I had worked hard to keep the heat in my tyres. I’m happy to take third in both races. The guys ahead of me have a lot more single-seater experience but we are catching up!”

 
21 June 2015
NISSAN VICTORIOUS IN FRANCE!

  • #23 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 wins 1000kms Blancpain Endurance Series race at Paul Ricard in France
  • Buncombe, Chiyo and Reip take lead in PRO Championship standings
  • Mardenborough takes fifth in Austria in GP3 Series
  • Rick Kelly grabs a pole position in V8 Supercars in Darwin

LE CASTELLET, FRANCE – 21 June 2015: Nissan’s Alex Buncombe (GB), Katsumasa Chiyo (JAP) and Wolfgang Reip (BEL) took a commanding victory in Saturday’s 1000km Blancpain Endurance Series race, which ran into the night at Paul Ricard in France. This was the first overall Blancpain Endurance Series win for Nissan and the best possible warm up for next month’s Spa 24 Hours for Nissan GT Academy Team RJN.

The #23 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 started from seventh on the 60+ car grid after receiving a five-place penalty for a pit lane infringement. Katsumasa Chiyo made a great start and immediately showed off the GT-R’s brakes to their full effect when a Ferrari, Bentley and McLaren crashed right in front of him at Turn Five. The Safety Car was dispatched while the track was cleared but once the race resumed Chiyo was soon up to second place, hunting down the Lamborghini that was in the lead.

Chiyo stayed in contact with the Lamborghini throughout his opening run and then pitted in order to let Reip carry on the charge. The 2012 winner of GT Academy set off after the leader but his charge was halted by a very long safety car period. He got away well at the re-start to continue the fight before handing over the GT-R to Buncombe.

Not long into his run, Buncombe took the lead when the Lamborghini took its pit stop. From this moment on the team didn’t look back for the next 3.5 hours. Despite another safety car period closing up the gap the drivers went on to build up and despite a late challenge from Bentley, the #23 Nissan GT-R crossed the line first at Paul Ricard, taking the first Blancpain win for Nissan.

The #22 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 was on for a top result in the PRO-AM class in the hands of Mark Shulzhitskiy (RUS), Gaetan Paletou (FRA) and Ricardo Sanchez (MEX), running in second in class for much of the race. Their efforts were scuppered by a gear selection problem in the final hour of the race, which required a lengthy pit stop. They finished in 12th place in the PRO AM class.

The #23 squad now leads the Blancpain Endurance Series PRO Championship, just one point clear of Bentley. The team will head straight to Spa for the pre-Spa 24 Hours test day on Wednesday, thoroughly warmed up for their biggest race of the season.

“This is our first overall win in this championship,” said team boss Bob Neville. “We won the PRO AM title a couple of years ago and we won the GT4 title before that but this means everything to us. Bentley pushed us hard at the end but Al (Buncombe) just did his job and brought it home. To win a 1000kms race just before Spa is just what we needed. It couldn’t be better!”

“We’ve worked so hard over the years to get a win like this,” said Buncombe. “This is my first year in the PRO class alongside two amazing drivers and it all came together tonight. Chiyo has been a star all weekend. He is awesomely fast in the GT-R! The team were telling me the gap back to Kaney (Steven Kane – Bentley) at the end so I knew he was catching me. I ran wide once – I’m only human – and then had pick-up all over my tyres for a couple of laps but it all worked out well in the end!”

FIFTH PLACE IN GP3 AT THE RED BULL RING
Jann Mardenborough had a race to forget in the second GP3 Series race of the weekend in Austria on Sunday. He and his team mate Antonio Fuoco got a little too close during the race, making contact early on. Mardenborough pitted for repairs and recovered to 17th place.

Race one on Saturday went a lot better for Mardenborough. He started from 12th and had to react fast when his team-mate stalled on the grid in front of him. Once the track was cleared he and his other Carlin team-mate, Ferrari Academy driver Fuoco, set about making their way through the field. Jann made some great passes, securing fifth place at the flag.

“I had a good start and managed to avoid any contact in the first few laps and then tried to make up as many positions as possible,” said Mardenborough. “My goal was to get into the top eight and into a good position for the reverse grid race, but we managed more than that and took more points with fifth.”

POLE POSITION AND A PODIUM IN DARWIN FOR RICK KELLY
Nissan’s V8 Supercar team had a rollercoaster ride of a weekend at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin, Australia. The highlight was Rick Kelly taking his first pole position since Sandown in 2011. He also took a podium finish in the first race of the weekend. CLICK HERE for more information on Nissan’s V8 Supercars campaign.

 
12 June 2015
Alex Buncombe to return to V8 Supercars to partner Todd Kelly in 2015 endurance events

  • Nissan Global Driver Exchange program continues to see NISMO Athletes race for Nissan around the world
  • News confirmed ahead of Buncombe's drive at Le Mans in Nissan GT-R LM NISMO
  • Kelly and Buncombe pairing combine again after strong 2014 endurance form

LE MANS, France (12 June 2015) - English sportscar ace Alex Buncombe will once again partner Todd Kelly for Nissan Motorsport in the V8 Supercars Championship endurance events later his year.

Nissan confirmed the news today at the Circuit de la Sarthe, where Buncombe is part of the driver line-up for the debut of the manufacturer's ground-breaking Nissan GT-R LM NISMO LM P1 car.

In a continuation of the successful Nissan Global Driver Exchange program, Buncombe will partner Kelly for a second-consecutive year, driving the #7 Nissan Altima V8 at the Sandown 500, Bathurst 1000 and Gold Coast 600 in September and October.

Buncombe, 33, was impressive in his V8 Supercars debut last year, finishing a solid seventh in the Bathurst 1000 alongside Kelly, making him the highest finishing -Great Race- debutant. Buncombe was also a standout in his very first V8 Supercar race, crossing the line 10th in his 20-lap single-driver sprint race at Sandown.

The V8 Supercar endurance role adds to a busy year for Buncombe. As well as his usual duties driving the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 in the Blancpain Endurance Series, the NISMO Athlete is also making his LM P1 debut at Le Mans this week.

Buncombe has already been in fine form this season, recently winning pole position in a 60-car field for the Silverstone round of the Blancpain Endurance Series with a scintillating lap in the dying stages of qualifying.

This weekend, Buncombe's focus will be on the world-famous Le Mans 24 Hour event in France, steering the #22 Nissan GT-R LM NISMO alongside long-standing NISMO racer Michael Krumm and last year's LM P2 Le Mans winner Harry Tincknell.

Earlier this year, Buncombe was a late withdrawal from the Bathurst 12 Hour due to the birth of his first child, an event the NISMO Athlete Global Team went on to win. He competed in the factory Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 in the Bathurst 12 Hour in 2014, giving him two previous experiences at Mount Panorama.

The Sandown 500 will be run on September 11-13, followed by the Bathurst 1000 on October 8-11 and the Gold Coast 600 on October 23-25.

QUOTES

Alex Buncombe - #7 Nissan Altima V8 Supercar:
  • I'm delighted to be heading back to Australia for the enduros with Nissan Motorsport, said Buncombe.
  • Last year was tough as it was my first time in a V8 Supercar but what I did then will stand me in good stead for this year.
  • Knowing the car is what it's all about so I'll know what to expect and I should be a lot more comfortable than last year. I'll also have good knowledge of Sandown and Gold Coast, which are tricky circuits and were new to me last time out.
  • Top ten results would be great and it would be good to improve on the P7 we took in Bathurst last year and maybe go for a podium there.

Todd Kelly - #7 Nissan Altima V8 Supercar:
  • I'm really excited to have Alex back in my Altima for the endurance races later this year, said Kelly.
  • It's great to be able to do it two years in a row. Last year was the first time he drove our cars and circuits and it was always going to be a big challenge for him especially at tracks like Bathurst and Gold Coast so having that experience under his belt will make it a lot easier for him this year.
  • Alex is one of the top Nissan global drivers, and the proof of that was when he was selected to drive in Nissan's three-car Le Mans line-up.
  • For me, he proved how good he was by adapting so well to our unique cars last year.
  • He's had the opportunity to drive a lot of fast cars over the past 12 months and I really think we can be even more competitive this year.
  • He's also a great match for me height and size wise, so we both fit in the car perfectly.

Richard Emery - Managing Director and CEO, Nissan Motor Co Australia:
  • Alex did a great job for Nissan Motorsport in last year's V8 Supercars endurance events so we are pleased that his busy schedule has allowed for him to return again this season, said Emery.
  • Not all international drivers take to V8 Supercars quickly but Alex proved last year why he is regarded so highly by NISMO when he adapted almost instantly to our Nissan Altima.
  • The Nissan Global Driver Exchange not only further strengthens our ties with Nissan and NISMO globally, it also brings an international profile to the V8 Supercars endurance events.

Darren Cox - Global Head of Marketing, Sales and Brand, NISMO:
  • This news again shows the global nature of Nissan's motorsport thinking: All of our programmes benefit from each other in many ways, said Cox.
  • Alex has come through the Nissan ranks and is now one of our most important drivers from our LM P1 programme to GT3. I think this move demonstrates our principles of rewarding loyalty, talent and sheer hard work.


Alex Buncombe will drive the #7 Nissan Altima V8 with Todd Kelly

Alex Buncombe will drive the #7 Nissan Altima V8 with Todd Kelly

Alex Buncombe will drive the #7 Nissan Altima V8 with Todd Kelly

Alex Buncombe will drive the #22 Nissan GT-R LM NISMO at the Le Mans 24 Hour this weekend

Alex Buncombe will drive the #22 Nissan GT-R LM NISMO at the Le Mans 24 Hour this weekend

Alex Buncombe took pole position at Silverstone in the Blancpain Endurance Series recently, driving the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3

Alex Buncombe took pole position at Silverstone in the Blancpain Endurance Series recently, driving the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3

Darren Cox, Global Head of Marketing, Sales and Brand, NISMO

 
14 June 2015
NISSAN COMPLETES LE MANS 24 HOURS

Nissan GT-R LM NISMO completes the Le Mans 24 Hours on its race debut. The three new Le Mans challengers run for 10, 23 and 24 hours. Nissan power takes 1-2-3-4-5-6 in LM P2 class.

LE MANS, FRANCE – 14 June 2015: Nissan’s much-anticipated Le Mans challenger, the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO, made its race debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend. Such is the scale of the challenge to enter the top endurance class, Nissan set a target of getting one of it’s three cars to the finish of the 24-hour race.

The #22 Nissan GT-R LM NISMO of Harry Tincknell (GB), Michael Krumm (GER) and Alex Buncombe (GB) took the chequered flag at 15:00hrs on Sunday afternoon after battling against the odds to complete the greatest race in the world.

For the first ten hours of the race the three GT-R LM NISMOs racked up the miles, all completing over 100 laps of the 13.629km Le Mans circuit in that time. The race was certainly not without drama for the #22 car, which had to contend with regular teething problems but also being hit by debris. The biggest ‘moment’ for that car came just nine hours into the race when Tincknell ran into a large piece of debris whilst hurtling towards Indianapolis Corner at 340kph.

“We ran the entire race making sure we were mechanically sympathetic so we could rack up the miles and finish Le Mans,” said Tincknell. “I certainly didn’t expect to hit a massive lump of ‘something’ that was right in the middle of the racing line. The car was feeling good at that time too so it was a real shame to have to come in with damage and lose a chunk of time. We had struggled a bit in the early part of the race but I managed to immediately pick off seven or eight P2 cars and then concentrated on bringing the car home in one piece.”

The Le Mans 24 Hours is a huge challenge for any manufacturer but to make your race debut at Le Mans requires Herculean effort. The Nissan NISMO team has worked non-stop since the GT-R LM NISMO first took to the track at the end of 2014. The car is still in the infancy stage of its development but a huge number of lessons were learnt this weekend as the team fought to keep the cars on the track.

The first casualty came close to the 10-hour mark when the #21 Nissan lost a wheel and despite the efforts of Tsugio Matsuda (JAP) was unable to return to the pits. Matsuda’s team-mate Lucas Ordonez (ESP) started the race in #21 before handing the car over to Mark Shulzhitskiy (RUS), before the Japanese driver jumped in.

“It has been a tough Le Mans 24 Hours for us but we expected that,” said Ordonez. “The start of the race went well. We had good, clean stints initially but then when we got into the night we were having some issues and then Tsugio (Matsuda) had a problem with one of the wheels and he couldn’t make it back to the pits. Losing a front wheel when you have a front wheel drive car is not ideal. It was unfortunate but I have to thank the team, they made a superhuman effort over the last weeks and months and it’s devastating for them to have their car not return to the pits. We have learnt so much this weekend. We have gathered so much data but we have learned how to work together as a race team. We now need to keep on learning, improving and developing for the future.

The #23 Nissan had perhaps the most painful exit from the race, retiring with a suspension issue.Jann Mardenborough (GB) and his team-mates Max Chilton (GB) and Olivier Pla (FRA) were delayed by a clutch issue at the start but they got stuck into the race and were looking good for a finish when Mardenborough was forced to pull off the circuit with just one hour of the race remaining.

“Missing the start meant that I missed out on any danger,” said Mardenborough. “I had a really good opening run, triple stinting the tyres and just concentrated on keeping the car on the track. I was gutted to have to retire the car with just an hour to go. I tried everything I could to get going again but #23 had had enough. We ended the race with a car that was much better to drive than at the start as we continued making progress as we went through the race. Thanks to the crew who have worked so hard, particularly these past few weeks. We did something to be proud of today.”

“I am feeling very proud of the whole team right now,” said Nissan’s Darren Cox. “For sure we have had problems but that’s what happens when you innovate. Our engine is strong and we were able to quickly fix the other problems that we had. We have learnt an incredible amount at Le Mans and our battles will only make us stronger.

“Most LM P1 manufacturers don’t finish Le Mans at their first attempt so it was important for us to hit this target,” he continued. “The guys in the garage are the heroes this weekend and the drivers have all done an incredible job, sometimes in very difficult circumstances. They needed physical and mental strength in equal measure this weekend and every one of the nine delivered for us. We have done exactly what we needed to do. We dug in, we solved our problems, we exploited the limits of our current performance and we finished the Le Mans 24 Hours.”

In addition to its fledgling LM P1 programme, Nissan provides engines to many of the LM P2 teams at Le Mans. Those teams did the Japanese manufacturer proud at Le Mans by taking the top six finishing positions in the LM P2 class. The #47 KCMG Oreca-Nissan took the win, followed by last year’s winner the JOTA Sport Gibson-Nissan, with the #26 G-Drive Ligier-Nissan taking the last podium place. GaetanPaletou, Nissan’s newest Lounge to Le Mans racer, unfortunately didn’t get to race as his car retired before it was his turn to drive.

The next race for the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO is the 6 Hours of Nürburgring, round four of the FIA World Endurance Championship, which will be held on 30 August.
 
Sunday 24 May (09:42 GMT)

Silverstone Blancpain: Alex Buncombe claims pole for Nissan

Alex Buncombe claimed pole position for Nissan ahead of Sunday's second round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Silverstone.

The Briton took the top spot in the final 15-minute qualifying session aboard his RJN-run Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 with a 2m00.829s, which put him almost exactly a tenth ahead of Norbert Siedler in the Rinaldi Ferrari 458 Italia.

Buncombe, who shares the Pro Cup Nissan entry with Wolfgang Reip and Katsumasa Chiyo, said: "It was all a bit lastminute.com: I went out on Wolfie's tyres from Q2 and the car didn't seem to be there — there was a lot of oversteer.

"With five minutes to go, I asked for new tyres and knew I had to do it in one lap, but the track was kind to me and I got a good lap."

Third place went to Laurens Vanthoor in the best of the WRT Audi R8 LMS ultras on a 2m01.058s and fourth was Kevin Estre in the fastest VonRyan McLaren 650S GT3 with a 2m01.334s.

Joe Osborne topped the Pro-Am class in fifth place overall in his Triple 8 BMW Z4 GT3 with a 2m01.414s.

Best Bentley was the lead M-Sport factory entry driven by Guy Smith in ninth position.
 
Monday 2 March (09:00 London, 10:00 Paris, 18:00 Yokohama)
FORMULA 1 RACER JOINS NISSAN’S LEMANS CHALLENGE Max Chilton moves from F1 to P1 for full FIA World Endurance Championship season YouTube star Alex Buncombe completes the line-up for the third Nissan LM P1 car at Le Mans

LONDON, UK – 2 March 2015: Former F1racer Max Chilton and Nissan regular Alex Buncombe have completed Nissan’s squad of nine drivers for the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO. This news was announced ahead of the Geneva Motor Show where Nissan’s LM P1 car will appear for the first time in Europe.


Max Chilton joins Nissan after two seasons in Formula One, where he became the rookie with the ‘safest pair of hands’ demonstrated when he finished every single one of the races in his debut season in 2013. Fast and mistake-free is the order of the day in LM P1 racing so the British racer will be an asset to Nissan’s pioneering new team.

“I'm honoured to have been asked to join a manufacturer as prestigious as Nissan in a championship that is growing year on year,” said Chilton. “Le Mans has always had an amazing following and to be racing there as a works driver is a dream come true. My aim has always been to race at the highest level and the technology that has gone into the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO is as impressive as a Formula 1 car. Having met with the team and seen first-hand the dedication and desire to win that exists within this project I can't wait to get on track."

Fans of motorsport videos on YouTube will need no introduction to the racing skills of Alex Buncombe. He has become a star via his onboard camera videos, such as the one from Monza that showed him overtaking 18 cars on the opening lap of a GT race last year, which over half a million people have watched. He is less known for his work as the mentor to all of Nissan’s GT Academy winners since the programme began in 2008. Now he can’t wait to get hisGoProin the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO.

“This is a genuine dream come true for me,” said Buncombe. “I was shocked when I got the call and I haven’t been able to wipe the grin off my face ever since. It’s very rewarding being the mentor of the GT Academy winners, especially when I see how much the likes of Lucas (Ordonez) and Jann (Mardenborough) have gone on to achieve. Now I’m going to race at Le Mans with them in the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO. I already know a fair amount about the car and I can’t wait to have a go. It’s a radical design and, as with all new cars it will take some developing and fine-tuning, but it’s incredibly exciting and I’m so happy to be on the team.”

“It’s good to have Alex and Max on the team,” said Darren Cox, Global Head of Brand, Marketing & Sales,NISMO. “They have come to us from different routes. Alex has driven every current Nissan racing car we have and - when you consider that I started working with him when he was racing a 350Z in GT4 – that’s some journey. Max is best known for his F1 exploits, althoughhe has competed in LM P1 before, back in 2007 when he was only 16. The addition of these two drivers shows that Nissan has cast its net wide in looking for the best driver line up for LMP1. We now have drivers who raced last year in F1, LMP2, GP3, GT3, V8s, GT500 and of course on PlayStation 3 on Gran Turismo 6!”

Chilton joins Marc Gene, Michael Krumm, Jann Mardenborough, Olivier Pla and Harry Tincknellfor the season-opening race at Silverstone on 12 April. The configuration of the driver line-ups for the #22 and #23 Nissans will be announced at a later date.

Buncombe will join the team for the Le Mans 24 Hours where he will race in the #21 Nissan GT-R LM NISMO with Tsugio Matsuda and Lucas Ordonez.

LM P1 testing continues this week at Sebring International Raceway in Florida, USA with Max Chilton, Marc Gene, Jann Mardenborough, Olivier Pla and Harry Tincknell on driving duty.
 
 
 
12 February 2015
Nissan GT Academy Team RJN steps up to Pro Cup in Blancpain Endurance Series

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Nissan Motorsports International Co., Ltd. announced an outline of their motorsports activities for 2015. Nissan GT Academy Team RJN will enter a Nissan GT-R Nismo in the Pro Class of the 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series, with Alex Buncombe, Katsumasa Chiyo and Wolfgang Reip at the wheel.


In 2014 the Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nismo GT-R was one of the frontrunners in the highly competitive Pro-Am category of the Blancpain Endurance Series. The car even led races overall. With those strong performances in mind, the British team run by Bob Neville decided to tackle the Pro Cup this year, with three experienced drivers at the wheel of the GT-R.

Alex Buncombe has long been one of the stalwarts of the team and is looking forward to the opportunity to go for the outright win. Katsumasa Chiyo made his Blancpain Endurance Series debut last year, and immediately impressed by his speed and racing skills. Wolfgang Reip might have the smallest racing experience of the trio – Reip’s career only started when he won the 2012 edition of the PlayStation GT Academy – but a Pro-Am podium finish in the 2013 Total 24 Hours of Spa proved immediately that the 28-year old Belgian is made out of the right stuff. A win in the recent Bathurst 12 Hour, together with Katsumasa Chiyo and Florian Strauss, confirmed Reip’s talent yet again.

The Blancpain Endurance Series season starts with the official test days at Paul Ricard on March 17th-18th.